New EIPR report: President must abolish unfair emergency court verdict against Aboul Fotouh, Al Qassas and Moaz Al-Sharqawi

Press Release

17 October 2022

Today, January 19, 2023, EIPR issued a report titled “Conviction without Evidence: The Unfair Trial of Abu Al-Fotouh, Al-Qassas, and Moaz Al-Sharqawi,” in which it called for the abolition of the lengthy prison sentences issued in Emergency State Security case 1059 of 2021 against 25 defendants, including former presidential candidate and head of the Strong Egypt Party, Abdel-Moneim Aboul Fotouh (15 years), his deputy, Mohammed Al-Qassas (ten years), and former student leader, Moaz al-Sharqawi (ten years).

EIPR had participated in the defense team of the defendants as a legal representative for Moaz Al-Sharqawi, former vice president of the Tanta Students Union and former member of the Egyptian Students Union.

The report documents the details of violations against the three defendants, starting with the formulation of the case, the investigations on which it was based, in addition to violations during the arrest, search and interrogations, the years of prolonged pretrial detention, up to the referral to the exceptional emergency court despite the expiry of the state of emergency in October 2021.

Although the ruling was issued on May 29, for which the emergency law allows neither appeal nor cassation, the ruling is not considered final until after its ratification by the President of the Republic, as the emergency law grants him the power to accept, commute or abolish the ruling. President Sisi has not yet ratified the ruling.

EIPR stressed the need to abolish the ruling that targeted the three activists solely because of their peaceful political or student activism, which is guaranteed under the Egyptian constitution and international law, and within legitimate bodies established in accordance with Egyptian laws.

The report also calls for immediate action to provide urgent health care to Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, 71, and to transfer him to a hospital in view of his deteriorating health. In addition, it is necessary to ensure that all prisoners enjoy the rights stipulated in the Prison Law, including the termination of prolonged solitary confinement, and the right to visit, exercise and read.

The report also recommends opening a serious investigation into the violations committed against defendants in the case, including enforced disappearance, torture to force “confessions,” and medical negligence, as well as holding those responsible for these violations to account; amending the flawed emergency law to ensure that the issuance of non-appealable judgments is suspended and allow defendants  to appeal the judgments handed down against them; in addition to the immediate release of all those held in pretrial detention for periods that exceeded the maximum allowed by law, and an end to the practice of "recycling", by not allowing the same accusations to be brought against the same individuals in different cases, and closing all other cases in which the defendants were "recycled".

To access the full report (Arabic):